USAG Japan prepares community for natural disasters
CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- The U.S. Army Garrison Japan hosted the "It Takes a Community" forum Jan. 22 at the Camp Zama Community Club.
"It Takes a Community" is a quarterly forum where Camp Zama community members come together to be informed and discuss any issues or concerns, said Col. William Johnson, commander of USAG Japan.
The topic was to prepare for natural disasters and covered evacuation programs, disaster preparedness and seasonal preparedness.
"In the event there is some kind of emergency, it's too late to prepare once the emergency hits," said Johnson. "Have a plan and be prepared -- once you've done that you're all set."
Subject matter experts from various organizations/units, such as USAG Japan Safety Office, Directorate of Public Works and American Red Cross, made presentations and spoke directly to community members at stations set up around the room.
Johnson said it takes the whole community working together to make Camp Zama a great place to live and work, including during a natural disaster, and there is a variety of resources and information available to everyone.
The forum also included a town hall meeting with Maj. Gen. James Pasquarette, commander of U.S. Army Japan and I Corps (Forward), and ended with Camp Zama's Community Night -- an evening with plenty of food for the community and musical performances by the local band Secret.
Community member Tanesha Clark said the overall event was a great opportunity to get good information, see neighbors and friends in a relaxed atmosphere, and enjoy dinner.
"I think it was a great idea for the Garrison to bring all the players together who would be involved during an emergency to promote preparedness," said Clark.
"This type of event allows the community to ask questions and receive on-the-spot answers; and in my opinion, most of us wouldn't ask the necessary questions until it's too late."